They are a forgotten people. They live impoverished, destitute, helpless and at the mercy of marauders. These people are the Biharis of formerly East Pakistan. They migrated to that area in 1947 and settled, worked hard and prospered. However all good things do not last forever. The election results in Pakistan in which the Awami League bagged 53% of the National Assembly seats was nullified by Gen. Yahya Khan the then president of Pakistan. He gave in to Zulfiqar Bhutto pressure. A curl disobedience movement started and a bloody militant organization called the Mukti Bahini was born. Nurtured and reared by India under the tutelage of Mrs. Gandhi the prime minister of India at that time this organization went on a bloody rampage attacking pro-Pakistan elements mainly non-Bengalis in remote areas.
The turbulent period that followed resulted in another war between the two impoverished nations and resulted in another similar one - Bangladesh.
What followed was a massacre of non-Bengalis by the violent Mukti Bahinis. There were no real winners or losers in the war. Apart from heavy human losses misery blanketed a whole people - the Biharis. These people were looked upon with suspicion by the majority Bengalis who were dancing with euphoria at their newly found "freedom". The Biharis were ghettoized and became helpless.
In 1973 Zulfiqar Bhutto started the process of repatriation but only half of them was brought to Pakistan. President Zia re-opened up the subject of the Biharis and in July 1988 a Rabita fund was formed with Pakistan and the Muslim World League financing fund for their repatriation and rehabilitation in Pakistan.
After Zia's death in Aug. 1988 the new regime in Pakistan shelved the project.
In 1990 Nawaz Sharif became prime minister and a plan was made for the repatriation of about three thousand families. Promises were made by some governors of provinces in Pakistan to absorb these ill fated persons. Some did arrive. However, lack of resolve on the part of the new PPP government shelved the issue.
The delay in finding a solution to these stranded people resulted in further misery.
They became the object of violence and a planned campaign of physical and psychological terror. Parts of their camp were demolished and they were forced to shift to remote areas around Mymensingh.
Already these people are suffering at the hands of the police and over zealous officials. Some murders have occurred the latest that of Mohammad Shamim who was stabbed last May. The stranded people are appealing to the authorities in Bangladesh for safety. It seems their pleas are filling on deaf ears.
An official of the Muslim World League who visited the Dhaka camps said the inhabitants were living in inhuman conditions and hoped that the Pakistan government would speed up the process of repatriation.
President Farooq Leghari in his first visit to Saudi Arabia last year promised a group of Pakistanis that a speedy and organized repatriation will be started soon.
However, despite a lot of paperwork and statements by various people not much has been done to alleviate the suffering of these people.
What is urgently needed are funds backed by a strong will and effort by all parties concerned to settle the matter.
Their existence spread across sixty six squalid camps are also the responsibility of the Bangladesh government. The least it could do is to protect their lives and honor.
The Dhaka government should remember that these people did not fight against Bangladesh. They fought for Pakistan. It is a case similar to that of the American civil war. However, the South was not penalized when the North won.
Bangladesh which is in the forefront of all Muslim causes can do well by starting to help solve a problem right in its own backyard.
On the other hand the government in Pakistan which played host to over three million Afghan refugees could do well by getting in those quarter million stranded Pakistanis who want to be repatriated.
These people have been traveling on a torturous road for over 24 years. Their journey should now end.
I did never expect that IslamiCity would publish such an unjust report.
The information regarding the freedom fighter is also false. They did not start the war. Rather the then Pakistani army started rampaging on the night of 25th March 1971. They killed thousands of innocent civilians. As a result, the muktibahini started fighting against the army.
there is a lot more to describe and know. And those are evident fact.
I always expect that at least islamicity should be true about its publications.
Islam teaches to say the truth. It is Islami culture that one does not let any information in the air untill he is 100% sure of its being true.
I am eagerly waiting for the truth about Bangladesh.